Pioneer Park is a unique 52-acre park located in Saint George, Utah at the southernmost part of the Red Cliffs Conservation Area. The park is an enormous natural playground consisting of sandstone cliffs, arches, slot canyons, caves, and so many other areas to explore. The red rock arena sits high above the city of Saint George, offering stunning views. With endless places to explore, Pioneer Park offers something for everyone.
There are two parking areas for Pioneer Park, a smaller upper lot and a larger lower lot. Between the two lots sits Dixie Rock, also known as Dixie Sugarloaf. This large dome rock with the word “Dixie” displayed in bold white letters is perched atop Red Hills Parkway. The trail to Dixie Rock involves some steep scrambling near the end. A small bridge connects a gap in the rocks, delivering hikers to the top of Dixie Rock with some of the best views of the city.
Heading northeast from the upper parking lot leads individuals to another popular spot called the Narrows, or the Crack. This area is not for those wary of tight spaces. The area lives up to its name and most have to wedge themselves sideways in between the rock. Halfway up the crack it widens, allowing the small space to be explored. The top of the crack opens up to a sandstone plateau overlooking Saint George.
Just north of the main parking area sits an old pioneer building called Boy Scout Cave. The structure provides a cool shelter from the sweltering sun on hot days. It has been built into the rock with a brick entryway and a chimney. The cave is marked by metal railings on the rocks above.
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While Pioneer Park is home to a large variety of interesting rock formations, one of the most noticeable is a prominent arch visible from all around the park. A short walk across the sandstone brings individuals up close and personal to the majestic arch. Stretching out into the open air, a thin rock walkway extends out with the half moon formation rising up near the end. It is a perfect spot to snag a dramatic photograph.
All of the hikes are relatively short but it is still easy to spend hours exploring. Kids will love to poke around in all of the nooks and crannies. Dogs are also welcome, though be careful with them and children around cliff edges and splits in the sandstone. To avoid crowds and hot temperatures, early morning and later evening are ideal times to visit. Don’t underestimate this city-side attraction; Pioneer Park’s rich red rocks deliver an other-worldly experience.
Written by: Lauren Kehoe